The draw for the IHSAA State Soccer Tournament was made last night, but two teams who will not be facing each other in the postseason this time due to the new format are the girls of New Albany and Providence.
Both will play in different classes for the first time, with the Lady Bulldogs (8-3-2) in Class 2A and the Lady Pioneers (11-0-2) in Class A.
However, you can still catch the rivals in action when they meet tonight at Prosser Field (7 p.m.)
While one record breaking striker will be on show for Providence in the shape of Casey Marlin (80 career goals to date and 21 for the season), another forward will be hoping to etch her name in the record books in the shape of New Albany’s Kamaren Cole.
The Bulldog senior has so far racked up 30 goals this fall, bagging four each against both Madison and Jeffersonville in her last two games.
She is now just two goals shy of the season record of 32 set by Kaitlin Robinett, now a sophomore with University of Evansville, in 2008.
Cole’s career tally is 70, seven shy of Robinett’s total of 77. This is another target well within range as there are two more regular season games to come after tonight on Thursday (Switzerland Co.) and Saturday (Jennings County), not to mention sectionals.
New Albany girls’ coach Julie Deuser said Cole is having “a great year” for the Lady Bulldogs.
“She is working hard on the field and it is paying off in big numbers,” said Deuser. “I am impressed by her work ethic and determination. The school record set by Kaitlin Robinett is something Kamaren has an excellent chance of breaking, and our team is excited at the possibility.”
When the teams last played at New Albany two years ago, the Lady Bulldogs comprehensively beat the Pioneers 5-3, and Cole was a goalscorer that night.
However, Providence has won the past three encounters – two at sectional – with a 12-0 aggregate scoreline.
Tonight’s game gives New Albany the opportunity to not only repair some of the damage suffered in those recent matchups against the Pioneers, but possibly halt a red hot unbeaten streak which has seen coach Dave Smith’s girls jump to the top of the Class A rankings.
Deuser said the girls are “looking forward very much” to it.
“They are an excellent team and we know that we must be ready,” she said. “This is always one of the biggest games of the year and I believe my team will step up to the challenge.”
Meanwhile, the recent Passionately Pink for the Cure fundraising games between New Albany and Floyd Centrals boys’ and girls’ teams raised $2,350, which was $250 more than last year.